Monday, January 18, 2010

Read'n, Writin', and... Riveting ??

A funny thing happened on the way to the airport near where I lived, about, oh, 20 years ago or so. I stopped by a hangar the local junior college had, which was offering Airframe and Powerplant classes. The time requirement was substantial- can't remember the specifics, but it was 18 months, something like 4 hours per night, 5 nights per week, AND all day Saturday. Yikes! Sounded like great fun, but too much time.

Fast forward 20 years or so. And over the holidays, a funny thing happened on the way to a different airport...

This time, I looked a bit deeper into the programs. I'm sure there are a lot of great programs around the country (and world- although I confess to being ill informed about programs in other countries (and am just becoming somewhat literate about those in the USA).

I thought other folks might enjoy what I've discerned as the requirements- or at least what seems to be the typical requirements at a community-college level program. (There are "professional" programs at for-profit schools, Spartan being one of the leaders, I believe. And a number of 4-year programs, Parks College being the one I am most familiar with. But there seems to be more 2-year programs, some offering the training/certificate for only the A&P license, although most offer an associates degree with only a few more classes required).

As I understand it, there are three parts of an "Airframe and Powerplant" license (certificate, actually, although all the other unknowing non-A&Ps like me seem to universally refer to it as a license); the "General" (math, physics, blueprints, FAA regs, etc), the "Airframe", and the "Powerplant". One can obtain and Airframe, or a Powerplant, or an Airframe and Powerplant certificate.

The requirements for the certificate can be met with either work experience or academic training. The work experience is 18 months for either the Airframe or Powerplant, or 30 months for both. The academic training option is the General plus Airframe, or General plus Powerplant, or all three for the full "A&P". These are the requirements to be eligible to take the FAA written tests, after which one takes an oral exam, and a "practical" (hands-on) exam which is administered by a DME (Designated Mechanic Examiner).

I would think military experience would be one way to meet the experience requirements, and probably a number of jobs at an airframe manufacturer or "mod shop". (One challenge might be over-specialization though- perhaps some readers can shed light on this avenue).

The academic route consists of 1900 hours of supervision and instruction. Not including breaks. That's a pretty fair amount of time. (The "General" portion is 400 hours, "Airframe" is 750 hours, and "Powerplant' is 750 hours). For a four-year program, with two 16-week semesters, that's 3 hours per day x 5 days per week x 16 weeks x 2 semesters per year x 4 years. Make that 3.5 hours per day or so, to include breaks. Or, for a two-year community college, that's 7 hours per day or so, including breaks. Or shorter days, but more of them, if one includes Saturdays and the summer terms.

Where I live, the program is offered during the day, and during the night, as a five term program, with three 15-week terms per year- one "General", two "Airframe", and two "Powerplant" terms. The day class meets 7AM - 3 PM, Monday through Thursday; the night class meets 4 PM - 10 PM, Monday through Friday, with appropriate breaks to make it 25 hours of classroom and "lab" time per week. Any absences must be made up, down to the minute, so it's a pretty demanding schedule.

Here's the list of classes, in the normal order they are taken, at the community college (A&P(with associates degree)/vo-tech (old terminology, I suppose; the A&P certificate only).

Session 1 (15 weeks)23 credit hrs
Technical Mathematics2
Physics & Aerodynamics2
Basic Electricity4
Aircraft Drawings1
Maintenance Publications, Forms & Records2
Mechanic Privledges & Limitations1
Ground Operation & Service2
Weight & Balance2
Materials & Processes4
Fluid Lines & Fittings1
Cleaning & Corrosion1
General Review & Test1

Session 2 (15 weeks)23 credit hrs
Wood Structures1
Aircraft Coverings (Fabrics)2
Aircraft Finishes2
Sheet Metal & Non-metallic Structures8
Aircraft Welding2
Assembly & Rigging4
Aircraft Fuel Systems2
Hydraulic & Pneumatic Systems2

Session 3 (15 weeks)25 credit hrs
Aircraft Landing Gear Systems4
Position & Warning Systems1
Aircraft Electrical Systems6
Fire Protection Systems1
Aircraft Instrument Systems1
Ice & Rain Control Systems1
Cabin Atmosphere & Control2
Communication & Navigation2
Airframe Inspection3
Airframe Review & Test4

Session 4 (15 weeks)26 credit hrs
Reciprocating Engines11
Turbine Engines9
Engine Fuel Systems1
Auxillary Power Units1

Session 5 (15 weeks)24 credit hrs
Engine Instrument Systems1
Engine Fire Protection Systems1
Engine Electrical Systems2
Ignition & Starting Systems3
Engine Lubrication Systems3
Engine Cooling Systems 1
Fuel Metering Systems4
Induction & Airflow Systems1
Engine Exhaust & Reversers2
Engine Inspection2
Powerplant Review & Test4

Optional Courses to complete A.S. Degree18 credit hrs
English (Communications)3
Humanitities Elective3
Social Science Elective3
General Elective 13
General Elective 23
Computer Science3

So what if you don't have time for the classes- but If you're like me, the topics sound really interesting? Home study won't do much to geting a A&P certificate, but flipping pages at the community college bookstore was interesting. Here's a reading list, which seems to compose (I think:) the entire booklist of one typical A&P curriculum. I've listed the prices at the JuCo (yeah, that's another oldie term) bookstore. Sometimes on-line is cheaper, sometimes, a little higher. In general, I like to support the brick and mortar stores.

FAR/AMT 2010: Federal Aviation Regulations for Aviation Maintenance Technicians ($25)

Ac 43.13 - 1b/2b Acceptable Methods, Techniques, and Practices of Aircraft Inspection and Repair ($25)

The Aviation Dictionary for Pilots and Aviation Maintenance Technicians ($21)

Aviation Mechanic Handbook ($15)

Aircraft Electricity and Electronics

Aircraft: Basic Science with Student Study Guide ($62)

Aircraft: Powerplants with Student Study Guide ($110)

ASA General Test Guide 2010 ($14)

ASA Powerplant Test Guide 2010 ($14)

ASA Airframe Test Guide 2010 ($14)

Aircraft Gas Turbine Engine Technology ($107)

Airframe & Powerplant Mechanics Powerplant Handbook ($20)

Airframe & Powerplant Mechanics Airframe Handbook ($20)

Aviation Maintenance Handbook - General ($40)

Aircraft Maintenance and Repair with Study Guide ($110)

The whole books tab comes up to about $700 or so. Tuition at most CC's is around $100 per credit hour, which comes out to about $3000 per "term" for my local A&P school. Multiply by five terms, throw in tools for $2K and FAA exams, the total for an A&P license is probably $18K or so. I'd guess it's around double that for a private for-profit school.

The investment in time is equally expensive, especially if one is working full time: figure 70-80 hour weeks between work and school- sometimes in five days. Lot's of folks have two full time jobs (boy, do I have a lot of respect anyone doing that, or this!). Generally, loans are available to help with the financial burden. The time constraints are less easily ameliorated. Does the A&P certificate "pay off"? I would think so, over time. And it opens doors to opportunites that might otherwise be unavailable. Even at one's present job, it might be the differentiator when layoffs come, or a promotion comes along.

Plus, it looks like a heck of a lot of fun!

Best wishes to all who might be interested in an A&P program- perhaps some are currently enrolled in one. (I know several of our fellow bloggers are already A7P certificate holders).

Wikipedia article on Aircraft Maintenance Technician (AMT) Certification.

Find an A&P school near you. (Something like 170 or so to chose from in the USA).


Phil Bell said...

Okay, so this is what I've been doing for the past couple of weeks at night. Just about to kill me. Get to class an hour late (6 hour session)- stay an hour late to make it up. Yikes. Fun, lots of potential. Appeals to my curiousity about wood and fabric, and tubing. And engines. Sorry I've been less able to post during the week as a consequence.

Hope to get "caught up" (and aclimated to the longer nights) soon.

(I wish the day were 30 hours long...maybe not- sometimes it feels like it already is! :)

Shane Price said...


Sorry to cut across your 'A&P' headline, but big news has just hit the wires here.

JAL have filed for the Japanese equivalent of Chapter 11.

Rumor (in Europe, anyway) is that they owe creditors $15,000,000,000.

Yes, that's 15 BILLION dollars....

Is this another 787 customer (they had 55 on order) going west? They were already looking closely at the A350 due to the program delays on the 787, so it's probably not great news for Airbus either.

JAL are one of the few remaining major 'national' carriers, and it's claimed that the Japanese government will inject $3.3 billion to keep things rolling, short term. 15,000 + people are also facing redundancy.


Phil Bell said...

Hi Shane,

Thanks for the update on the unfortunate news regarding JAL. Hopefully restructuring will proceed well for them.

The past few days had news here had some articles about "alliance partners" pumping money into JAL in an attempt to keep them afloat.

JAL banruptcy

baron95 said...

Shane, I think you are misreading the JAL news. First, it was a widely anticipated move. Second the Japanese Gvmt has pledged not $3B, but $10B (if you include the credit line).

But most importantly, is the fact that most of this money will be used for fleet renewal.

This is all part of their plan to ditch 37 744s for 777s/787s.

The only risk here, is that, being a gvmt financed bail out, the temptation to "protect jobs" will be too great. Unless JAL can quickly fire several thousand people and restructure compensation for the remaining, they'll be back here soon.

But on balance, JAL filing is excellent news for Boeing. At least there is the hope of stopping the bleeding due to excessive staffing, and the monney to buy the 787s are being injected.

Excellent news for Boeing.

baron95 said...

What is bad news for Bombardier is Eurowings ditching their CRJ fleet and laying off 1,200 folks today.

Another victim of Lyon Air and EasyJet.

baron95 said...

But back to our topic - GA...

Congratulations to Beech for receiving both FAA and EASA certification for the most capable King Air of all times the King Air 350i.

baron95 said...

But even more interesting is that flight testing has started is the Dominator , an unmanned version of the DA-42.

julius said...


minor correction: JAL's debt are said to be 2.32 trillion yen( or €17.8 bn or BBC: "The carrier has debts of $25.6bn.")

The value of a share is 5 yen...


P.S.: Lufthansa is going to take all its CRJ200xx, CRJ700 out of its fleets (EUROWING, Tyrolean...).This is part of a cost reduction programme. Hopefully 2011 will show some economic improvements in Europe.

baron95 said...

Yes Julius, now lets see if the 78 year old gvmt appointed new head of JAL has what it takes to fire 15-20,000 people and restructure compensation and work rules for the remainder.

Or if this will be another Alitalia saga.

Since this year China will pass Japan in GDP to be the world's number 2 economy, maybe Japan will wake up.

Or maybe not. I'm seriously worried about Japan's inaction and contentment with decline.

gadfly said...


For perspective, in 1962, the A&P course at Moody Airport, Wood Dale, Illinois, began in early September, with graduation around July. Required was 1,600 hours in class and shop. Normally, back then, the FAA required 2,000 hours in other schools, but Moody had such a strict schedule and high quality, that the FAA reduced the number of hours for certain schools, including “Moody”.

Class began at 8AM each morning, Monday through Friday, with a half-hour for lunch, and ended each day at 4:30PM . . . forty hours per week. Every one or two week interval, the subject was changed. There was a test which if “failed”, meant the student could not continue in the course . . . there were no exceptions (much like the US Navy, etc.). Many of us were married and had to work outside of school to pay the bills. So, I would put my Gerstner tool box in the VW Van, and drive to my night job in Elk Grove Village, to work until about midnight as tool-maker and night foreman. Next morning, “repeat same”. On Saturdays, “flight training” . . . expected to get an hour or two in a Cessna 150, or other aircraft. Since Moody was part of Moody Bible Institute, of Chicago, every student was expected to have a ministry in a “skid row mission” or in a church . . . so I taught a Sunday School class. Homework was also required on a daily basis. Graduation was after a battery of FAA tests in the summer . . . about nine as I recall . . . after which we received our credentials as “A&P” mechanics. The FAA tests were rather easy, compared to the earlier testing at Moody. All of us were training for work as “bush pilots” in places like the Yucatan . . . Dutch New Guinea . . . the Philippines . . . etc.

The worst class of the day was right after lunch . . . on a full stomach, and totally exhausted. We usually had “electronics” and/or “transmission lines/antenna” systems . . . staying awake was a problem. Since I had already spent much of my life in electronics, before and during Submarine Service, I could usually “ace” all the tests.

It took a few years to physically recover from those days in school.


(A favorite class was “oxy-acetylene” welding . . . always in December . . . a dozen students with torches in a small shop, keeping warm in an Illinois winter, with outside temperatures around “zero” . . . and sometimes lower. The school was located almost exactly 2 miles due west of ORD tower.)

julius said...


during the last weeks one could read quite a lot about BRIC...
or in other world about more than 40% of the world population (but just accumulated in four states)!
These states have lots of resources... apart from broadly settled thorough educations...
E. g. the Brasilians can do everything but most of them without cert and one can see that!
Fortunately I never experienced any problems when flying with GOL, TAM, Rico, and some smaller companies.
The MRO staff was ok...

And Boeing... cheese...


airsafetyman said...

Phil, The A&P certificate is very worthwhile. After a few years the holder may want to consider earning a mechanical engineering or aeronautical engineering degree from a good, well-respected state university. I would suggest a mechanical engineering degree as if times are really tough it is easier for a ME to work outside the aviation field than it is for an AE to do so. The A&P ticket holder with experience will be way ahead of the other engineers who do not have one. The "aviation management" degree is not worth the effort, in my opinion. The "downside" of an A&P ticket are some aspects of the job itself. It was long thought that the airlines were the best sought-after jobs, but many airline mechanics spend an awful lot of their working lives on third shift, which can be very hard on family life and on one's physical health as well. The work hours and working conditions are better in the large FBO chains, but the pay may not be as good as the airlines. The large established corporate flight departments are, in my opinion, the best career move for someone who wants to earn their living as an aviation mechanic. Several corporate flight departments have developed some of their pilots from in-house mechanics who earned their pilot's certificates as well.

baron95 said...

Hey Julius - even I didn't know about Rico. Did you ever fly them? Seems like a tiny local operator to MAO.

As for GOL and TAM that is a good battle. I'm waiting for GOL to join OneWorld - maybe in a few years. It was a stupid decision on their part to keep the Varig brand and dual ops. I hope they integrate them in and join OneWorld.

ColdWetMackarelofReality said...

Nice writeup Phil - keep up the good work.

julius said...


Rico also operates(d) in the "far west". I was in Tefe and Tabatinga. There were very few cars, as outside the village there are no roads. I think TRIP is now servicing these cities.


Floating Cloud said...

Boy Phil, you really did your homework -- right down to the cost of books. Seeing as I deal with university students on a daily basis I am giving you an A!

At one time I had thought with all the discussion on the building of airplanes that I might be more interested to learn about maintaining one rather than flying one, but alas the cost and time involved is cost prohibitive either way.

While the NM state gov has spent above and beyond their means -- Eclipse being one of those bad investments_- people like me, the one's in the middle (who have worked their butts off) are the ones' going to pay up. One way or the other I am going to be paying out of my own pocket in increased taxes or in salary reductions for Eclipse mistakes, and I resent the fact at the same time I have be thankful that I even HAVE a job. (I'm having a bad day.)

My women collegues and I are asking what more can we cut back in our lives? WE already can't buy new clothes or shoes. Now what, give up hair cuts, contact lenses, dental care? In a few months a whole slew of very attractive female employees at UNM that make less than 50,000 will be toothless, near sighted, banshees!

baron95 said...

Hey Floating Cloud, I don't know where you are in NM, but lets assume you are in say Santa Fe. IIRC, the minimum wage in Santa Fe is $9.85/hr. So lets say that pretty much anyone with a job is making at least $10/hr.

A hard working person will work say 60 hrs/week (a light week for me). With 2 weeks vacation, that is $30K/year.

With an equally hard working spouse/partner/roomate/etc that is $60K household income, on 2 minimum wage jobs. With mortgage rates around 4%/year, car loan rates near 0%/year, very low sales and income taxes at that level, etc, $60K/year is a lot of spending power.

Sure you may need to make do with just two slightly used cars or only a couple of 52" TVs and do your nails at the discount strip mall, etc, but that standard of living and spending power is still greater than 90% of the world's population.

Now lets help those without a job - how about a $50K cash for flying clunkers program - will create great jobs and increase safety to boot.

Oh wait. I forgot, you are against government investing to stimulate aircraft production.

bill e. goat said...

It looks like I've arrived just in time for another round of everyone's favorite game show


(Well, some people's favorite game show. Maybe. ...)

Let's take a look at a hypothetical $10/hour wage earner in Santa Fe.

"With mortgage rates around 4%/year..."
Well, let's try 5% instead
Wells Fargo Mortgage rates
(5.00 % for a 30 year today).

Now, let's see what you can buy in Santa Fe. Say, 1000 square feet.
Let's set 1000 square feet, any age, and $150K is the going rate for an entry-level house.

(Probably entered quite a bit, as in breaking and entering, for that price, in Santa Fe).

With 20% down, a loan balance of $120K will have:
$860 principle & interest
$156 taxes (1.25%)
$62 insurance (0.5% of value)

$860 per month for starter house
x12 = $10320

"car loan rates near 0%/year"

The only way to get a 0% loan, is on a new car.

So, let's figure the next to base Ford Focus. Say $18K out the door with sales tax, vehicle registration, etc. With 20% down, 60 month, 0% loan, that's $250 per mo, $3K per year. Throw in another $600 for insurance, that's:
$3600 per year for car.

"very low sales and income taxes at that level"

Yeah, I'll buy that. Let's even say $0 state or federal taxes. There's still Social Security (6.2%) and Medicare (1.45%) = 7.65% x $20K:
$1530 per year for FICA & Medicare

So far,

Or, $20K - $15450 = $4550 per year:
leaving $380 per month.

Now, let's say you can eat on $5 per day- $5 x 30 = $150 for food:
down to $230 per month.

Now, let's say one splurges for water and trash (maybe $40 per month) and even electricity ($60 per month), and maybe even the luxury of a telephone to report break-ins and passing out from malnutrition- say $40 per month . Utilities are $140 per month, so we're now down to:
$90 per month.

Say you do the laundry once in a while, 2 loads per week, $1.25 per load- down to
$80 per month.

Maybe get a haircut once per month? Let's say our Santa Fe resident is a guy, and a haircut is $10. Gals will spend more.
$70 per month.

No internet or cable TV, so heck, buy a newspaper once a week (good for advertising things, like kidneys, lungs, etc to raise a little extra cash): the Sunday newspaper, $2.50 x 4
$60 per month.

Let's say our friend is very careful with the miles driven, and can go an entire month on the Focus's 12 gallon tank. At $2.50 per gallon, that's $30 per month for gas:
$30 per month.

Going to the dentist will set you back (at least) $150 per year, so we're down to $30-$150/12
$17.50 per month

Oops- that $5/day for food, didn't include luxuries like soap, detergent, toothpaste, heck- let's splurge, and even get toilet paper! Let's say frugal shopping gets this for $10 per month, leaving
$7.50 per month

Cheer up! That's not as bad as it sounds- after all, that's 25 cents per day for things like
1) health insurance
2) college
3) retirement
4) toothpicks

bill e. goat said...

"A hard working person will work say 60 hrs/week"

Most employers are barely employing, let alone paying for workers to do 50% overtime. But part-time second job can sometimes be found. So let's say, working 60 hours bags $30K per year. Taxes are no longer insignificant; figure with the home deduction, around $2500 federal, $800 for NM state taxes, and an additional $765 for SS&Medicare, say an additonal $4000 in expenses, so $6000 is extra take-home per year, or $500 per month.

What might one do? That would facilitate medical insurance for $250 per month or so, with maybe a $2500 deductible. Which would leave $6000-$250x12-$2500= $500 per year extra takehome. Of course the second job would require extra clothing, extra laundry, extra gas for the car, etc. But I'd say the medical insurance would make it worth while.

Or, one could go to college instead. That $6K might buy the books and a computer, and tuition at a state college. The 60 hour work week is going to make relatively impractical, and finding flexible employers around minimum wage jobs is tough.

"With an equally hard working spouse/partner/roomate/etc"

With a spouse/partner, there is often extra income. And more significantly, often children. Wanta find a baby sitter for 60 hours per week, on a $10 per hour job?

And now we're really talking about health insurance. How many $10 per hour jobs offer that?

School expenses? Medical bills? Braces? Clothes?

Not to worry- like I said, that 25 cents per day can be made to go a long way. So can feeding a family on $5 per day. (I don't mean that to be flippant, just illustrative).

bill e. goat said...

"but that standard of living and spending power is still greater than 90% of the world's population."

The issue isn't that the working poor are living better than people in Haiti, it's that social mobility is on the decline in the US.

In 1981, the federal minimum wage was $3.35.

In 2006, that would have been $7.43 after adjustments for inflation, but instead, the actual minimum wage in 2006 was $5.15, a decline of 31%.

Now the federal minimum wage is up to $7.25, but that same 1981 $3.35 would be inflation-adjusted to $7.91 now; a decline of 8 %. More significantly, when I attended college pre-Reagan, the state provided nearly 2/3 of the funding. Now the students pay over half, and the state 1/4 (private donations make up the rest). And lab courses have been cut. And the students per class has doubled.

When I graduated from college, I was burdened with a federal debt of 33% GDP, and it had been going down for decades.

Now kids inherit a federal debt of three times that. Wreckless tax cuts and unfunded spending programs have wrecked the economy even more than deregulated "free market" financial institution oversight.

We have been living off our children's future, and our parent's past. Greed and willful ignorance has been the new faux* (/FOX?) religion, ushered in by Ronald Reagan. He made us feel good about ourselves.

If we deliberately ignored reality.

I'm not mad at the Republican party, nor the Democratic party- I'm mad at the public, for being so willing to be manipulated and uncritically lapping up preposterous nonsense, and being giddy with smug glee while doing so.

That's my two (make that 25) cents worth, anyway.

bill e. goat said...

And I agree with Baron, that a person can live on $20-30K per year, it's just that too many are doing so, that shouldn't have to be. I'm grateful they can, but annoyed they must.

airsafetyman said...

"A hard working person will work say 60 hrs/week (a light week for me)."

As one who has worked 60 to 70 hours a week at times it cannot be done on a sustained basis, unless you are counting the hours sitting in business class playing solitare on your laptop. If your work/life balance is that far out of kilter you need to reintroduce yourself to your family. Hint: they don't need to fly to Martha's Vinyard on Daddy's Awesome Jet; taking the ferry and actually having a father around will be just fine.

gadfly said...

This isn’t about “one-up-man-ship”, but a recognition of some realities.

Back in “A&P” and “Flight School”, I put in eighty to 100 hours a week, in school, flying, and working (as a machinist) to support my family (wife and two little boys). Airsafetyman had it right . . . it cannot be sustained. It took me about three years to recover physically and mentally from those days.

Fast forward a few years . . . age 29, “new business”, in middle of building two story house, with hand dug basement (about 400 cubic yards, 2/3 rock . . . and I paid dearly for that effort) . . . eighty hours, plus, per week “at the shop”, losing about $2.80 per hour . . . took a full five years to make people take us seriously, and for numbers to go from “red” to “black” (barely). Again, reality catches up . . . and sixty hours per week looks like a vacation in a suite at the Turtle Bay Hilton on Oahu (been there, done that . . . and very nice, to be sure).

But there is an “up side” to all this. Many years, two hernia repairs, two balloon angioplasties, quintuple bypass surgery, . . . rheumatoid arthritis (not helped by hundreds of “Dive, Dive. . . Clear the bridge” down steel ladders on the “sub” . . . probably two inches shorter for the effort) . . . the “four kids” all got through top colleges without debt (and four marriages, come to think of it . . . daughters are expensive) . . . and an entire list of other benefits, including nineteen grandkids . . . none in trouble, oldest in Submarine School . . . and some other things outside the present discussion.

Life is not for the “faint of heart”, nor for those that think that someone owes them . . . even a “minimum wage”. Who said?

Here I am at “72" . . . looking forward to maybe building “one more house”, to be near our kids . . . the property is bought, the well is dug, the power is in . . . haven’t had a paycheck for three plus years . . . but no complaints. My wife tells me that “Social Security” pays money into our checking account each month . . . ‘never seen a bank statement, but her word confirms it. And I may scale down to forty hours per week in another year or so . . . down under about fifty hours, at present. “How to build the new house without a loan”, and “how to sell the present house” . . . and make the transition?! Problems, problems . . . and why am I not worried?! Must be something going on here that doesn’t involve figuring out what is “fair”, or that someone owes me something.

Bottom line: Most folks want “happiness” . . . and nothing wrong with that, so long as you understand that “happiness” is like a full stomach . . . in a few hours you’re going to be hungry again. And you have to go looking for the next meal. You see, happiness depends on "conditions". (The Lord had much to say about such things.)

But there’s a better thing: The Bible speaks of “Joy” . . . a contentment that doesn’t depend on the “next meal”, or how many hours a person works, etc., etc. "Joy" depends on "Who's in charge, regardless of conditions."

Something was said to some people, working day and night during the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the “Temple” . . . you can all look it up, if you wish: “May the Joy of the Lord be your strength.” That’s for me. (Hint: Nehemiah 8:10c . . . apologies to those that don't like the Bible.)

Maybe we can look not only at the “amount” of time “at the job”, but consider the “motive” of doing the job in the first place. Most folks seem to be “putting in their time”, until released from prison, while others “labor” at their “work”, because of the pleasure of their accomplishments. My question has always been, “Why work at something you find a daily drudgery for most of your life, so you can retire for a few years, when your body can no longer do all the things you wished to do, when you were young enough, and strong enough, to do them?!”

To me, work is a gift from God . . . He did it first . . . created me in His image . . . and I like the system!


gadfly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
baron95 said...

Oh, my. Just pointing out the straight math that 2 hard working ppl making the minimum wage in Santa Fe pull in $60K/year...

And I get parenting advice in return!!!


How about the cash for flying clunkers proposal?

Proportionally, Wichita has been devastated more than Detroit. Yet, the UAW got not only a bailout (they now own GM and Chrysler), but customers got C4C.

So, how about C4FC?

gadfly said...

Final thoughts, before I go home and get ready to travel a couple hundred miles tomorrow morning, to attend the Saturday memorial service, for my “black” brother Sam, who was called home “on the table” last Saturday . . . he was one of “three” of my generation, with whom I was close friends . . . my oldest son is to bring the final words at his service. Another went home about three years ago . . . one more, a ship mate on our first “sub” . . . we keep in regular touch by email.

‘Looking for equality, for fairness, for some rule to apply in comparison in “income”, etc., as a scale on which to value “happiness” or contentment. You won’t find it . . . it simply does not exist, because such things have no earthly standard. You’re looking in the wrong location. And, like in my previous comments, should you find “happiness”, where does that leave you? We won’t beat the dead horse!

Life is a precious gift . . . don’t forget that term, “gift”, and not a “right”. A gift is something precious . . . not earned, but valuable, paid for by the “giver” (you figure that one out . . . I already have). The greatest honor you may bestow on the giver of a gift, is to use that gift . . . and the “using” of the gift is an expression of “thanks” to the Giver. Do you get my drift?

Yes, at this point, the “gadfly” would like to give an entire message on deep things . . . but I’m a “guest” here, and not at liberty to speak further.

‘Y’all have a great weekend . . . as we either travel on dry highways, south, or plow through this major storm that has already hit “Flagstaff”, and is working it’s way, our way.

At my age, I no longer get the “thrill” of driving a couple thousand miles across the nation. “Back then”, it was endless miles of “white knuckle terror”, on two-lane highways, with the sparkle of broken beer bottles reflecting star light, fifty feet apart, showing the borders of “US 66", left and right, and wondering if we could get around that semi-truck in front of us, before the yellow headlamps of an approaching car would appear over the next rise in the highway. Yep . . . those were the days, my friend . . . we thought they’d never end!

Hasta luego!


(Another comment: My oldest son has the “memorial service” on Saturday . . . he already “preached” the Sunday Service in place of our dear departed and close friend. Sunday night, on the way to another service, my son and family were road-blocked at the end of the road that leads to the highway . . . a teenager, friend of our grand-kids, took his own life, in spite of attempts to save him by Sheriff’s deputies. A way was found for the family to get to the “cowboy fireside” service in town, where our son had the evening service.

Today, Thursday, our son speaks at the service of the young man, age sixteen, who “had no hope”. [His mother was too "bombed out" to even remember his 16th birthday, etc.]

This coming Saturday, he speaks at the service of our dear friend, “one of three black folks in the county”, that had that “Joy” and “Peace”. My oldest son has pressures that most would avoid at any cost . . . yet, in all this, he has the joy and peace of doing exactly what he was born to do. How does this relate to hourly wage, or future financial security? Oh, and by the way . . . my oldest son is not a pastor . . . he’s the superintendent of schools, but just called on to “fill in”, as it were, because in either case, it’s a ministry, coupled with Joy. Bottom line, here, whether you’re an underpaid(?) teacher, A&P mechanic, or executive in a major corporation, you better decide early whether you want the quick fix of “happiness”, or the everlasting “Joy” that doesn’t come in the form of a paycheck.)

gadfly said...

baron . . . My apologies! 'Didn't know you were there . . . next time I'll try to take notice.


Floating Cloud said...


Thank you once again, you all got it and made my day! Baron, even you came through with “flying” colors as usual.It was when my girlfriends at work and I (who are all dedicated to the greater good and education for all on God’s earth, Gadfly) actually did laugh at how are hair looked yesterday realizing that all three of us had “cut back”’ on our visits to the salon. Reality is not kind, that is for sure, but we deal.

Billy e. Goat, you win numbers game and came closest to my scenario --except all of you forgot that some of us bought a house three years ago at let’s say 165,000 for a cute starter home in Albuquerque. Now it’s worth 150,000and then you can’t refinance and get that glorified 5.00 % or less rate. No cable, never thought it was worth anything (got the converter box with coupon), but I do have a blog, and a soap that I record for free entertainment. Netflix = 13.99 per month. Got a fully loaded and paid for 96 Volvo 960 with heated leather seats and only 80,000 miles, so no car payments, but a fair amount of money goes into maintenance and tires as I travel around the state to remote areas.

It is NOT good however, that educated professional men and women who are giving back to society are being pushed over the edge. Shane, if you would be so kind to explain banshees... No one wants to see one, let alone a whole world of them.

Love you guys,

Floating Cloud

baron95 said...

Back to Aviation....

Piper is entering the LSA market, in good fashion by licensing and reselling a foreign designed and built plane powered by a foreign designed and built engine.

Congrats to CSA and Rotax.

Piper has entered a licensing agreement that sees the Czech Republic-based manufacturer build its three 100hp Rotax-powered SportCruiser variants under the PiperSport banner.

baron95 said...

And it looks like LAN (from Chile) will be the first airline in the Americas and Western Hemisphere to operate the 787!!!!

How about that - congrats to Boeing and LAN.

Is this the first Boeing airliner that will be flying for years before a single US-flagged airliner start operating one?

It is amazing. A third-world airliner taking the lead, because not a single decrepit US-based airline is in financial condition to pay for new jets.

I'll have to endure a few more years of AA sprucing out the interior of their 767s. Well, except when flying south, given that LAN is part of OneWorld (me thinks).

baron95 said...

Here is a topic for you Phil.

Lets map out the average age of planes on US network carrier fleets against their competitors.

Then we map out average employee age.

Then we map out salaries (including all the pension stuff, etc) and work rules.

Then we project the consequences to their competitiveness, profitability, market share, years remaining in business.

Of course, we need to figure in the un-avoidable bailout of the airline unions, which will be gifted the companies, blah, blah, blah, you know the story.

baron95 said...

And you can bid on the airframe of the Airframe of US 1549

Slight water damage may be present.

Sparky said...

While most of the comments thus far have gotten away from Phil's original post about what it takes to become an A&P, one thing remains certain: since the days of Orville and Wilbur, when Charles Taylor tweaked the engine on the Wright Flyer, no pilot ever went anywhere until a mechanic told him the ship was good to go.

Today's course outline looks much the same as it did when I went through 40 years ago. Although I chose to pursue a career as a pilot rather than as a mechanic, there is no doubt in my mind that getting my A&P early in my career helped me out a very great deal. It opened several doors along the way, including corporate and flight engineer jobs that required the A&P as a condition of employment.

One thing Phil failed to mention is that after getting the A&P, it takes at least 3 years of additional training and experience, and additional study and testing, to get an Inspection Authorization as a mechanic. It requires an IA (or a repair station) to sign off a Major Repair, a Major Alteration, or an Annual Inspection.

I am fortunate enough to fly the Boeing 777 for a major US air carrier, but having the A&P and IA makes owning and flying my own airplane affordable as well. If I couldn't do the maintenance myself, I'd have to operate a much simpler airplane, or do without...

For anyone who wants to make a career in aviation, I'd strongly recommend getting the A&P at the earliest opportunity. It was the best thing I ever did for my career.

airtaximan said...

you guys forgot $3500 or so in annual real estate taxes on the home...

airsafetyman said...

"Piper has entered a licensing agreement that sees the Czech Republic-based manufacturer build its three 100hp Rotax-powered SportCruiser variants under the PiperSport banner."

I think Piper management have lost their minds. They STOPPED building the highly successful PA-18 that was in high demand by forest service, law enforcement, bush pilots, and sport-oriented pilots in general. The PA-18 is certified and is cleared for spins and moderate aerobatics at a weight of 1500 pounds or less. The airplanes are routinely fitted with skiis, floats, tundra tires, regular tires, and back to floats in the course of a year in the rough. Try that in a PiperSport? The airplane was in such demand that another company - CUB Crafters - was formed just to answer the demand and is producing an auguably better airplane. I'm sure the engineers at Piper could produce a PA-18 fully compliant with all LSA weight and performance regs in very short order but nooooooo, "management" decided to go to the Czech Republic and take a stroll down uncertified lane. For a POS you can't even spin?

Anonymous said...

The “Former Eclipse Aviation” auction played out today. According to an auctioneer, the cash raised is going to the building’s landlord, to satisfy claims of back rent due, and perhaps pay for the substantial flood damage to the building.

What was sold? Lots of large assembly jigs, test equipment, office furniture, and miscellaneous manufacturing minutia.

What wasn’t sold? Mills, lathes, welders, etc. When asked about this high-dollar equipment, an auctioneer said it had been earlier delivered to Texas, to satisfy a legal judgement.

Good news for the landlord. A large group of newbie bidders seriously overpaid for the minutia. Bags of cement, which sell for $3 at Home Depot, sold for $7.50. Cheap metal cabinets that usually sell for $5 - $10 at these auctions, sold for $50 - $70. Interestingly, most of the jigs, some of which must have cost $10,000+ to build, sold for their scrap metal value. The expensive office furniture sold for a small fraction of retail.

While wandering the offices, I noticed handwritten notes on dry-erase boards, that suggested the final days were a bit acrimonious. I suspect the loss of so much specialized manufacturing equipment will have an impact on any attempt to restart manufacturing.

Not much of an auction, but I did find an item that I just had to get for Shane. If someone could help me with an address, I’ll get it en route.

Floating Cloud said...

Meanwhile I was remiss at keeping up with local eclipse news...(my apologies I had been watching for this until I got side tracked with the thought of possible salary reductions for state employees.)

Silly me.

Floating Cloud
rent for employees

the deal

airsafetyman said...

The city of ABQ should go talk with the city fathers of Vero Beach, Florida. There the previous management of Piper screwed Vero, Indian River County, and the state of Florida to the wall for millions of dollars lest Piper move the production site, and jobs, of the(now defunct) Piper Jet elsewhere. It was a hollow threat to begin with, which everyone over the age of twelve realized.

The current management of Piper has just signed a deal with a Czech firm to import a "sport" airplane that will not result in one new job in Vero Beach. Piper screwed the non-union work force, half of whom is laid-off, and every single taxpayer in the city, county and state where it does business.

There is not a chance in hell of the Eclipse line being restarted in ABQ or anywhere else. This is a plan of the Charleston, SC, pharma dude to lessen his expenses until they can off load this turkey onto a greater fool.

airtaximan said...


I was in a meeting the other day, when someon piped up about VLJs... they were on the investment banking side, and were involved with yet another VLJ company.

Someone mentioned Eclipse, and I almost burst out laughing. ALL the intel was wrong. ALL of it was misinformation... ALL of it was none-sense.

So, it does not surprise me one bit, that someone bought the "assets" of EAC... and some folks over paid for scrap at the auction.

Its sad, but true that many folks do not have a clue.

Just read this blog, you'll see the log, and at leat YOU
won't get screwed.

baron95 said...

Well, Eclipse Aerospace is actually doing much better than anyone else here thought.

They have secured occupancy of the ABQ facilities for 3+ years, and, according to their Dec 21 note, they accomplished some meaningful milestones

(below from EAI Customer Communication Dec 21, 2009), 4 months after acquisition1.
We now have approval not only to source parts from current inventory but also from suppliers
as well. Almost all parts can now be ordered via our website parts order system. (Except for
PhostrEx, discussed below).
2. Our ABQ Service Center is now operational and 8 planes are undergoing upgrades including
our first to incorporate the EASA configuration changes.
3. Our Chicago Service Center is now delivering the first group of upgraded aircraft.
4. EAI now has an FAA approved, factory sponsored Recurrent Pilot Training and FIKI/ 1.5
Differences Training courses.
5. The Bias-Ply tire Service Bulletin is now complete and can be ordered along with tires directly
from EAI. Please contact Customer Care to place an Order for the New Bias Ply Tire Kit.

Sounds like a decent start, give then deck they inherited.

baron95 said...

And back to the thread's main focus - education in aviation.

Phil, I think to be complete, you should mention that Embry-Riddle has announced the start of the first PhD in Aviation.

So now you can REALLY be a "plane doctor".

There you have it - perhaps one of those doctors will teach Cessna how to do aerodynamic modeling correctly on 125 kts airplanes. This way they won't have to keep on blindly changing the ruder and elevator of the 162 over and over again, while they keep on spinning to the ground.

Phil Bell said...

New headline post is up!

FrauTech said...

I'm a bit late to the party but had to comment.

"So what if you don't have time for the classes- but If you're like me, the topics sound really interesting?"

Any reason you can't take just a class or two? We have a local A&P program here as well. It looks pretty intensive, and many are during the day which won't be feasible for those of us with jobs. I certainly don't NEED an A&P cert for my career, but looks like after two introductory classes I can take almost all of the powerplant classes one at a time. I'm considering it anyways.

Agree with the others who've suggested getting this and then going on to get a BSME at a later date, but I think it also might be useful for those with BSME's and not as much mfg or hands on experience. Both sides of the coin, you know.